July in my part of Spain is hot and humid. At night, we have several fans blowing sticky air around the house as we lay on top of the sheets and mentally calculate the price point at which we’d pay to stay in an air conditioned hotel room for three months. That price point is climbing along with the temperature and humidity.
So, it’s with this sleep-deprived, heat-addled mind that I sit down to draw up an introduction for B&C‘s 28th issue, grateful that the stories stand so well on their own. So, please forgive the brevity.
The issue kicks off with Doug Hawley’s “Altarred States.” As it stands, it’s a comedy of the grumpy sort. Give it some time, maybe it’ll be a tragedy of the amusing sort. In any case, it’s a treat. I cackled twice.
Next up, the perennially fun David Henson joins us again with a creepy tale. By creepy, I mean terrifying at several levels. “Stevie” starts off bad and things get worse. But, if you’ve been reading Bull & Cross for a while, you know David Henson equals solid storytelling, and “Stevie” is no exception. After you read it, you might enjoy one of his previous stories, available here, here, and here.
And finally, we have Michael Grant Smith’s return to B&C with the wonderful “Cruel Apocalypse is Cruel.” This is one of those tales that finds its footing immediately with a great voice and delivers a wonderfully satisfying payoff at the end. His previous story, available here, is also worth a read.
So, if you’re one of the lucky ones, turn up your A/C, pour a tall glass of iced tea, and settle in for a really fun issue.
Daniel R. Julian